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We are writers mainly from Australia and New Zealand who write speculative fiction with romantic elements. Be it fantasy, paranormal, dark urban fantasy, futuristic and everything in between.

Saturday 15 December 2012

Enchanted Orb - What Inspires A.P. Castell

Welcome, once again, to the Enchanted Orb. Today, we gaze into its depths to see what inspires AP Castell. One of the four writers to be found at The Romantic Muse, AP has kindly agreed to share some of the sources of her inspiration.

Take it away, AP Castell!

What Inspires AP Castell

A view, a dream, a look, a phrase…    Yes all of this and so much more.

Inspiration comes from many sources and usually when I least expect it. I often find the more effort I put into thinking of an idea, the more elusive it becomes.

I enjoy being outdoors and when in need of inspiration, that is where I turn. A drive in the country with the windows down, a walk on the beach whatever the season, hiking through the bush or even just a stroll in my garden, holds much wonder and appeal. Not only does it clear the mind and help consolidate thoughts, it is food for the soul.

With a background in art, I approach writing from this perspective, utilising the basic principles to unearth ideas. My love of colour and nature has a strong influence on my writing. I tend to include detailed descriptions of architecture and scenery in my stories. This would explain my love of the old classic movies with their epic scenes; ‘The Sound of Music’, ‘Lawrence of Arabia’, ‘Gone with the Wind’, all of which are another source of inspiration. 

Observation is just as important to the artist as it is for the writer. The artist is taught to look for basic visual elements.

·         Shape -       area defined by its external edge
·         Colour -       hues including their various values and intensities
·         Texture -    surface qualities/tactile pattern
·         Form -         three dimensional, length, width and depth
·         Value -        shading

The more accurately one can distinguish these individual elements, the more concisely it will be interpreted to the canvas. Once learned, it changes the way a person perceives the world around them. No longer is life a flat dull surface. Even the most mundane objects become interesting when you apply the visual elements. 

When out in search of inspiration I focus on the visual elements and my senses. The sight, the smell, the sound, the touch; I use all these to take in my surroundings. Concentrating on each sense individually, once I have reflected on one, I move on to the next. Then I make a conscious point of looking for shape, texture and so on. Leaving colour for last as it is the most obvious; I enjoy picking out the different hues and nuances. Really it is like a form of meditation for me and when I am done I feel revitalised and content which frees me to possibilities that usually morph into inspiration. 

Having rambled long enough, I will leave you with the wise words of Keats.

"The poetry of the earth is never dead."

John Keats

Find more inspiring quotes here:     http://www.allgreatquotes.com/nature_quotes.shtml


  1. Intriguing post AP, always fascinating to see how other writers gain their inspiration. I too love the outdoors, I get a lot of inspiration from power walking thru the bush, sometimes with my ipod, sometimes without. There is something about that fresh air, it really does clear the mind. Lovely pics, too, especially the beach scene.

    1. Thanks SE. Glad to know I am not alone, though you put me to shame with the power walking:) I stroll!
      Photos were taken by the kids and I while on holidays. The beach pic was taken on the South Coast, NSW.

  2. Love this, AP. Interesting that this year, I've been reminded again as I study design the importance of the visual impact. It really does help inspire. I've missed going for walks along the beach, but unfortunately sore knee and back equals that as a no no. But I should go walking along the paths at least. I'll have to aim to do that to recharge. Thanks for reminding me of all the inspiration that is out there.

    1. Thank you sweet Eleni. I love that, not only could you relate to my post, you share the same feels about the importance of visual impact:)
      I am sorry to hear about your sore knee and back, I hope things improves for you in 2013. xx

  3. Love this sensory evaluation of your writing AP. Think I'll take some of it on board myself. A walk around the park does wonders for the muse. (The dog quite likes it too). I'm envious of your art background, but isn't it so like the five senses we need to use in our writing? Thanks for sharing this AP. It brings to light a new thought pattern for future use.

    1. Glad you enjoyed the post Jennie. It certainly is about the five senses, but you could say the visual elements take sight to the next level. The idea is to focus beyond the obvious, and observe each of the elements individually; shape, form, texture, value and colour:)

  4. AP, what a wonderful article. I can really see your artists eye come through. To gain inspiration from the wonderful world around us is something to be treasured.

    1. Hi Carolyn, thanks for dropping by. Yes, the world really is a beautiful place, we just need to remember to stop and smell the roses :) from time to time.

  5. I think you nailed it perfectly AP Castell. Visual is important to the creative mind much like sound and words. When they all come together it truly is a creative explosion.


    1. Thanks Efthalia, I completely agree. Wonderful to find a kindred spirit.


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